Open University German Language Certificate = B1 ?

6 posts in this topic

As many of you will know, application for German citizenship requires you to have at least a B1 or equivalent proficiency in German.

 

Before moving to Germany in 2008 I studied with the Open University and passed the  L130 (Auftakt: intermediate German) module and obtained a Certificate in German.

 

I contacted the OU to check if the level obtained was equivalent to B1, and they said it is and pointed me to the webpage for the course https://msds.open.ac.uk/students/study/undergraduate/course/l130.htm

 

The question is, will that be acceptable to a Beamtin at a provincial (Eberswalde, Brandenburg) citizenship bureau who doesn't speak English? I am thinking not, so how do I convince her that I have the required level of german proficiency already with the OU without having to sit the B1 test locally ( next available date June cost 120€ ) ?

Any ideas folks?

 

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I think people would generally know that terms like "intermediate" and "B1" and so on are pretty synonymous and so pointing to a piece of paper telling someone an "intermediate" course was at B1 level will not usually add much.   In addition, that reference is at 2019, not a description of your 2008 course.

 

I would never rule it out but most people here presenting with "I once did a B1 course" get told do do an accredited proficiency assessment especially if not e.g. clearly much higher.   You can only ask but I think you might expect to be very persuasive to even have a shot.   This sort of course in a foreign language is not usually seen as the same as an assessed proficiency test in a second language for integration.  Have you got anything higher, obviously more persuasive?   Have you got any specific B1 certificates for the element(s) one must specifically pass at B1 as well as an overall grade (speaking I think it might be now, it was writing when I did it). 

 

A fallback could be to do the test not locally.

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20 minutes ago, Serenissima said:

The question is, will that be acceptable to a Beamtin at a provincial (Eberswalde, Brandenburg) citizenship bureau who doesn't speak English? 

 

 

Probably not.

 

Quote

 

I am thinking not, so how do I convince her that I have the required level of german proficiency already with the OU without having to sit the B1 test locally ( next available date June cost 120€ ) ?

 

Speak German to the official. B1 is supposed to guarantee sufficient communication skills with offices and authorities. But if he/she sticks to the law, you can't convince her that a language course 10 years ago without a recognised examination is sufficient. 

 

In general, there are also other ways of proving the required language skills, for example attending a German-speaking school for 4 years (including transfer to the next higher class), secondary school leaving certificate or an equivalent German school leaving certificate, transfer to the 10th grade of a secondary German-speaking school (Realschule, Gymnasium or Gesamtschule), study at a German-speaking university or university of applied sciences or a completed vocational training. 

 

But if none of this is true, you will probably have to wait until June and pass the test. 

 

 
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Yes, I also came back to say that, if, after 10 years, your German is now really high, and you have been working in it or raising German kids or whatever, ask them outright if they will take something else, given it is obvious your German is clearly now C1 and above.   Some people seem to just be able to give a sample of writing etc.    If it is one of those places that makes you submit a CV, write a really good one to show your skill.  And so on.

 

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B1 is supposed to guarantee sufficient communication skills with offices and authorities. 

 

That depends on the context.  B1 is typically to describe ourselves and interests, so we can handle our familiar daily lives.  However it is only C1 that gets us to the level of routinely dealing with topics outside our daily lives (B1) or technical and professional matters (B2).  The bureacracy and probably subjects covered by citizenship would usually have at least some aspects more at that level.  The forms and instructions are not B1, that is for sure.

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36 minutes ago, Serenissima said:

Before moving to Germany in 2008

 

An 11 year old certificate done 'outside' Germany from an organization beyond the purview of official Germandom may raise incredulous eyebrows.

 

What they want is simply "proof", and that is in fact flexible. It doesn't always need to be in paper form. Individual case-workers and office locations have their own ideas about how to interpret ze rulez. If you can speak to them in imperfect-but-good German, experience shows this is often sufficient. (I wouldn't expect them to know what B1 'really' means though.) In my case (permanent residency, not citizenship, but same idea), I brought a stack of relevant documents for the first meeting, my case-worker reviewed them and ticked his lists, and then told me what was still needed. No language cert. I only ever spoke to them in German (somewhere around B2? still made mistakes), and that was good enough. YMMV.

 

If they are insisting on paper documentation, which is their frequently exercised right, something fresh and local can't hurt anyhow. AFAIK, it need not be one particular brand/organization's German test, as long as it's recognized, i.e. they cannot insist on a particular 'brand'. But if they want things done their way and you're in a smaller town with limited options, well then. €120 sounds about average.

 

17 minutes ago, someonesdaughter said:

Speak German to the official. 

This.

 

Have you actually spoken with your local Ausländerbehörde yet? The only way to know for sure is to ask.

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31 minutes ago, alderhill said:

Have you actually spoken with your local Ausländerbehörde yet? The only way to know for sure is to ask.

 

I've only spoken to her on the phone. She won't arrange an interview unless I bring along a language proficiency certificate.

 

Your replies are pretty much as I expected, and thanks everyone for them. But, worth a try :)
I'd better get myself booked on a test then.

 

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